Continuous increase in HIV-1 incidence after the year 2000 among men who have sex with men in Rome: insights from a 25-year retrospective cohort study

M. Giuliani, M. F. Vescio, A. Latini, G. Palamara, F. Pimpinelli, M. G. Dona, F. Stivali, F. Carduccelli, F. Ensoli, A. Di Carlo, G. Rezza

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To assess trends in HIV-1 incidence and risk factors for seroconversion among men who have sex with men (MSM) resident in Rome, Italy, a retrospective longitudinal cohort study was conducted over 25 years. Incidence rates and trends were modelled using Poisson regression and risk factors were assessed by multivariate Cox models. Of 1,862 HIV-1-negative individuals, 347 seroconverted during follow-up. HIV-1 incidence rates increased from 5.2/100 persons/year (p/y) in 1986 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.3–11.5) to 9.2/00 p/y in 1992 (95% CI: 6.4–13.0), decreased to 1.3/100 p/y in 2001 and increased until 2009 (11.7/100 p/y; 95% CI: 7.4–18.6). The risk of HIV-1 seroconversion increased during the study period in younger MSM (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 17.18; 95% CI: 9.74–30.32 in 16–32 year-olds and IRR = 5.09; 95% CI: 2.92–8.87 in 33–41 year-olds) and in those who acquired syphilis (IRR = 7.71; 95% CI: 5.00–11.88). In contrast, the risk of seroconversion decreased among highly educated MSM (IRR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.35–0.82) and those without Italian citizenship (IRR = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.28–0.71). The HIV epidemic in MSM living in Rome continues to expand. Targeted prevention programmes against sexually transmitted infections to enhance knowledge transfer and behavioural skills are urgently required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20969
Number of pages1
JournalEuro surveillance : bulletin européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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